Tech notes: Jackets move forward without Groh

1. The first day that Georgia Tech’s reconfigured defensive coaching staff took the field was marked by energy and excitement, and not only by the players.

The Yellow Jackets opened their bye-week practices Tuesday with a full-pads session as the team tried to look forward one day after defensive coordinator Al Groh was fired.

“I think all those guys had a lot of energy [Tuesday],” coach Paul Johnson said of the defensive coaches.

Interim defensive coordinator Charles Kelly, moved up from his position coaching the secondary, oversaw the defense for the first time. Johnson, who had a lengthy pre-practice meeting with Kelly, spent the majority of the practice with the defense, unusual for him.

“They were flying around, having fun,” said Johnson, who himself was in a brighter mood than he has been through Tech’s three-game losing streak.

Tech mixed in scout-team work in preparation for the Boston College game Oct. 20 with fundamental work that typically gets more practice time during an open week. Johnson said that defensive players have reacted well to Groh’s dismissal.

Groh was fired after Johnson concluded that the defense, which has given up 40 points in each of the past three games for the first time in school history, was not going to improve.

“He’s a great guy,” Johnson said of Groh. “It’d be hard not to like him. But I think they’re excited about a new beginning. They’re not dumb. They know they haven’t been very successful. So it’s kind of a fresh start for them, too.”

Defensive players and coaches were not available for comment Tuesday. They will be made available following Wednesday’s practice. Quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon noticed the charge from the defense.

“I know when they came out for the one-minute drill, they had more spark and energy,” he said. “I mean, they got after us pretty good in the one-minute drill.”

2. Johnson offered further explanation about the changes made on the staff. Special-teams coordinator David Walkosky will continue to oversee special teams as he takes on responsibilities coaching the defensive line. Staff assistant J.R. Dorman, who has helped Walkosky with special teams, will work more with the specialists during practice while Walkosky trains the defensive line.

Johnson said that Andy McCollum, who had been coaching the line, requested to work with the linebackers. He will coach the inside linebackers while Joe Speed, who had been the inside linebackers coach, will coach the outside linebackers.

McCollum has a background coaching linebackers and Walkosky had no preference, Johnson said. He added that it might be helpful to shake up the order “to get another set of eyes to see. [McCollum] might not have the same impression of those linebackers that [Groh] did and the same with the d-line.”

3. Wide receivers coach Buzz Preston said that true freshman Anthony Autry did “alright” in his first start, last Saturday against Clemson. Autry had one catch for 53 yards.

“There’s still a lot more room for improvement, but he did pretty good,” Preston said.

Presuming he has a good week of practice, Autry will keep his spot in the starting lineup. Saturday, Tech’s wide receivers had five catches and no drops. Their blocking on the perimeter helped A-backs Orwin Smith and Robbie Godhigh gain 178 yards on just 11 carries.

“I think the guys are starting to understand that they have to work and if they’ll just keep that right attitude, frame of mind, then we’re going to make some good progress and see some good things happen for us,” Preston said.

Autry, who has received the most playing time of any true freshman, is getting used to it.

“It was (surprising) a couple weeks ago, but not anymore,” he said. “I’m just ready to get better and better every day.”

In case you missed it…

Jeff Schultz: Radakovich says Johnson is ‘right person for this job’

Audition begins for interim Charles Kelly

More from Johnson on Groh

Mark Bradley: Groh goes, but question about talent remains

Al Groh fired at Tech

Players had trust in Groh

249 comments Add your comment

FL Jacket

October 10th, 2012
2:49 pm

Ahhh…GT Joe is back

Blaming Tevin for losses even though he leads the 27th best scoring offense in the nation, and 22nd in total offense.

GT Joe won’t tell us that in order to overcome the wretched defense of the past 3 games we’d have to have the firepower of the 6th best scoring offense in the nation…and of course in his mind Vad Lee is the answer.

GT Fan

October 10th, 2012
2:49 pm

If GT can find even a marginally better D the past 3 games are Ws. 31, 28, & 36 points are more than enough pts to win a game.

To the point about Maryland (3-2) …. they have SCORED 7, 36, 21, 21, & 19. Their D has given up 6, 27, 24, 31, & 14. Only one team has scored more than GT’s lowest (28) offensive output in the past 3 games, and that was West “F’n” Virginia (in case you don’t have one of their t-shirts). The Turtles are 3-2 b/c they can play some D. Either team, GT or UM, is undefeated if they had each other’s strength.

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
2:50 pm

Why don’t you two children stop with the “did too, did not” kaka??!! Like a couple of 3 year olds. You’re very tiresome.

FL Jacket

October 10th, 2012
2:53 pm

GT Joe…and I almost forgot, Tech is also ranked 7th in the nation in yards per play on offense.

I’m sure your retort will include some opinion of the irrelevance of facts, as well as cherry-picked moments where Tevin has failed…as more of Tevin’s lack of ability rather than the normal cycle of good plays/bad plays that every QB makes.

GT Fan

October 10th, 2012
2:55 pm

Jacket Detective said … “Stewart also, to my surprise, uses the 3-4.”
————————

That’s G-D right! Now, anyone who thinks GT can’t, consistently, get better (equal at worse) talent than Maryland is a fool.

Like I started posting after the Miami debacle ….. “it ain’t the O, Groh’s gotta go”
I gotta believe CK can’t be worse than AG, right?

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
2:55 pm

Ah yes, back to playing stupid again. and AGAIN, i didnt say he dumbed it down. I threw out a hypothetical which may or may not be true. You are getting tiresome.

Vad is ready. My definition of “ready” is, he’s better than the current QB as a passer and runner. Neither of which you can deny. Also, from what we’ve seen (yes, very little, but enough), he has not made major mistakes, nor turnovers. He is AT LEAST as knowledgeable of the TO as Nesbitt was. And you know what, if Tevin runs it at 90% and Nesbitt/Vad run it at 70%, I’m going with the 70% guys. 90% efficiency apparently doesn’t do anything for us.

Now here’s a question for you. When do YOU think Vad will be ready? And don’t do what you usually do and say “when CPJ deems him ready”. Because we know that CPJ makes mistakes, as all coaches do.

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
2:57 pm

juvenal….obsessive, he’s@nal retentive about Tevin. Some of tried to tell Joe he’s made his point & we too wany to see Vad play, but it is not our decision. Joe continues on though. He must not have a braille computer screen, just a braille keyboard.

North Ave Killer Beez

October 10th, 2012
2:57 pm

GT Joe: Relax dude! I’m hardly a Tevin fan, but the offense IS NOT the main issue. I think VAD & DAY’S are much better QB’s than Tevin by far. With that being said, PJ is the coach and besides the VT game where Tevin played like a women in pads, tampads that is, the offense has been pretty descent.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
3:00 pm

FL Jacket, my favorite Tevin apologist. Yeah, the offense is awesome. Highly ranked in everything. Except OT scoring, 4th quarter scoring, 2nd half scoring…. you know… when games are won? LOL.

But let’s blame the defense on our 2nd half scoring. 7 pts vs MTSU in 30 minutes? Scoreless against Miami in the last 25 min of regulation plus OT? 3 points in the 4th quarter vs. Miami?

Yeah, offense is great. Nothing to see here. Move along.

BLT

October 10th, 2012
3:23 pm

“Stats don’t lie.”

Yes, but liars use them frequently.

Sorry, I saw it and had to go there. Nothing personal

FL Jacket

October 10th, 2012
3:28 pm

GT Joe…

I’m the apologist, yet your defense is basically “instead of scoring 37 points per game, we need to score 47 points per game”.

When your team is up, you run clock, just like teams in the NFL and pretty much every major CFB program does when it has a lead. When it works, you get an 8-minute death march drive against Clemson in 2011 that ices the game. When it doesn’t, at least you run 2+ minutes off the clock and don’t turn it over.

You blame Tevin, and then when you try to justify you immediately revert your language to “offense”. How appropos. Offense entails blocking, as much as anything else. It entails catching the ball. It entails running the ball hard.

Hard to say it’s Tevin’s fault all the time, isn’t it? MTSU is a great example, especially when Jeff Greene drops 3 very catchable balls (aside from the underthrown one you keep referencing). Especially when Orwin Smith catches a 4th-and17 pass at the line to gain…then cuts back to get more yardage and ends up getting tackled short.

www

October 10th, 2012
3:32 pm

GT Joe is still posting here? what a clown.

the dumb ones never know how dumb they are, do they?

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
3:45 pm

www: thanks for another enlightening contribution. Your smartest post yet.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
3:49 pm

FL Jacket: 37 pts/game is nice. Misleading stat, but nice. If you can’t score in the 2nd half, if you can’t score in crunch time, if you can’t score with the game on the line, all those 1st half points don’t matter.

And don’t get it twisted, when I talk about our offense failing in the 2nd half vs. VT, MIA and Clemson, and MTSU, I’m talking about Teflon Tevin.

Classic Quotes after GT-UGA 2011...

October 10th, 2012
3:54 pm

If do right, no can defense

November 26th, 2011
3:49 pm

Tevin Washington, good bye. I’d like to see Synjyn Days & Vad Lee (if he stays here) compete for the starting spot next spring…
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5150 UOAD

November 26th, 2011
4:37 pm

Our Passing D is what we knew it was except for 1 game. Tevin Washington is what we thought he was all season.Tevin threw some of the worst passes I have ever seen. he was not on the same page with the WRs ever today. The First was an easy TD if the B-Back sees hill and throws it earlier instead of the Sky High DUCK in the middle of the field.
Congrats Tevin Washington. You have 1 more game as Tech’s QB. Please make some plays in the bowl game.
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OldSchoolTechFanatic

November 26th, 2011
7:13 pm

I still beleive in the offense but not with tevin ball in there ! I have lost a lot of respect for CPJ this year. I said six weeks ago we needed to play Vad Lee, oh no we can’t do that we might loose some games. Well guess what we did and now instead of giving Vad some game experince this year we will have another green QB next year. Now if we loose recruits like we did last year after the season was over we deserve it. Why in the world did CPJ stick with tevin ball ? Anybody could see as the talent we played went up (except Clemson, and Oh the reminds me so much of Reg Ball) tevin balls play went down.
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OldSchoolTechFanatic

November 26th, 2011
7:39 pm

If tevin ball is quarter back next year I will not watch GT football.

GT Fan

October 10th, 2012
4:04 pm

GT Joe
October 10th, 2012
3:00 pm
FL Jacket, my favorite Tevin apologist. Yeah, the offense is awesome. Highly ranked in everything. Except OT scoring, 4th quarter scoring, 2nd half scoring…. you know… when games are won? LOL
—————————
gotta disagree a little there Joe ….. didn’t you see the SC-UGA game? I think SC won that one 5 minutes into the 1st qtr. LOL!

GT Fan

October 10th, 2012
4:13 pm

D, D, D …. gotta get some D!

Even with TW at QB (I think most fans believe Vad has more upside), GT’s O does more than enough to win. Yeah, a long, time-consuming drive (even w/o scoring) here & there in the 2nd half would be nice. But I challenge any team (other than Oregon or West “F’n” Virginia) to give up 47, 49, & 42 in consecutive weeks and see if they aren’t 0-3 too.

And to reverse that thought … I wonder how many teams would still be 0-3 after scoring 31, 28 & 36 in consecutive weeks. Al Groh’s D, in the past 3 weeks, just disappeared. How did that happen?

yeller bug

October 10th, 2012
4:17 pm

If we get our D’s 3rd down conversion rate to below 40% and everything else stays the same, then we’ll win the rest of our games. In some cases we’ll rout our opponents and then we’ll get to see more of Vad. I’d honestly rather not see Vad run the TO but the pistol or the TO out of the pistol, but I think CPJ is more dedicated to the TO under center than adjusting his scheme to suit his players.

George Stein

October 10th, 2012
4:17 pm

Perhaps the rules have changed, but I was unaware that points scored in crunch time – however that’s defined – counted for more than points scored at other points during the game.

I need further clarification on the crunch time thing, too, because apparently scoring with 44 seconds to go in the game doesn’t qualify. I’ll hang up and listen.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
4:26 pm

GT Fan: Regarding the offense, you (and others) seem to be misled on the scoring of our offense, led by our fearless leader Teflon Tevin.

GT is #36 in scoring vs. FBS opponents. Our defense would have to be top 10 for us to crack the top 25 with that kind of weak offense. 33.6 pts/game isn’t what it used to be.

Look at our scoring in the 2nd half, 4th quarter, etc., and we are in the 60s.

So who are you going to blame? The coach? The scheme? or the players?

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
4:32 pm

George: Would OT or 4th quarter of close games qualify as “crunch time” to you? Let’s see:

VT game OT: scoreless
Miami game OT: scoreless
Miami game 4th quarter: scoreless
Clemson game 4th quarter: 3 points
MTSU game 2nd half: 7 points

But define crunch time however you like.

Tevin= High School

October 10th, 2012
4:33 pm

Clarification: 44 seconds wasn’t the END of that game. Clarification END= Interception

mb94

October 10th, 2012
4:35 pm

Lets blank BC. Go Jackets!

Tevin= High School

October 10th, 2012
4:35 pm

@ Yellerbug The Pistol would be a lovely thing to watch with Vad running the show. No way the Mule changes his offense I’m afraid.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
4:38 pm

If offense isn’t a problem for our team (which is ranked 36th in scoring), then I guess everyone on this blog would be satisfied with our team being ranked 36th overall?

BTW, our offense was #27 last year, so we are even worse than last year.

Nesbitt’s last full year? #14. Discuss.

George Stein

October 10th, 2012
4:38 pm

It sure seems as though crunch time is an amorphous standard. On the one hand, fourth quarter points count against Clemson but not against VT or Miami. I’m so confused.

Now, to be fair, Tevin should play better. I bet he’d say the same thing. But this obsession with Vad – who I hope like hell is great – only proves that the backup QB is always the most popular guy on the team.

George Stein

October 10th, 2012
4:43 pm

You assume all teams have the same number of possessions, Joe. Because all teams don’t play the same style, giving raw numbers paints an incomplete picture. You should judge an offense by points per possession or yards per play, etc.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
4:44 pm

Nice cliche George. Only heard it 12 times this week.

Okay, let me try not to confuse you this time. GT is #66 in 2nd half scoring. Period.

“offense is fine!”

George Stein

October 10th, 2012
4:51 pm

Do first half points count less?

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
4:52 pm

Well George, we are #17 in 1st half points. So you tell me.

George Stein

October 10th, 2012
4:54 pm

What are you even talking about?

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
5:06 pm

Being #17 in 1st half points clearly isn’t helping us win games, is it?

Do you think GT will EVER be a top 25 team when our offense is #36 in scoring?

For real?

October 10th, 2012
5:08 pm

If anyone is defending Tevin Washington at QB, please try to remember your first thoughts after the UGA game last year…i and everyone else was happy that someone else would be QB next year, cuase surely TW wasn’t going to win the job…fast forward to 2012, and here we are.

TechApp fan

October 10th, 2012
5:09 pm

This is for sure…no blogger or tv guy knows what PJ calls.
Nor does any blogger or tv guy know if Lee is “ready”.
You guys debating first half or 2nd half points counting….silly. Ad you know it.

George Stein

October 10th, 2012
5:09 pm

Can I have more information? If we’re dealing in hypotheticals, can you tell me how good our defense is? Special teams? I can’t answer the question without more info.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
5:16 pm

You know what George, you are right. #36 in scoring is enough, we should all be satisfied with our offense. And we should all be satisfied with Tevin.

And now that Al Groh is gone, we can go on with winning games. Because all 4 losses were all Groh’s fault.

Running the table seems so much more possible now!

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
5:19 pm

And we should all be satisfied that our fearless leader, Teflon Tevin, is doing so well in the 2nd half of games, because being #66 in 2nd scoring is okay. in the bottom 50% of teams, but still okay.

Big Kev

October 10th, 2012
5:23 pm

Im pretty sure Tevin Washington is the worst GT QB in at least the last 25 years. Donnie Davis was way better…

Big Kev

October 10th, 2012
5:26 pm

Can anyone name a worse GT QB? Don’t even mention Reggie Ball. Pretty sure Reggie averaged more wins than Tevin, never had a losing season, and won a bowl game…

George Stein

October 10th, 2012
5:30 pm

If judging a QB by his W-L record was useful, you might have a point, Big Kev.

Continue setting up strawmen and arguing using selective observation, Joe. Nobody’s listening.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
5:32 pm

Strawmen? LOL, ummmm kay.

How about YOU “select” some observations of Tevin. Why is he the starter?

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
5:33 pm

Aside from the obvious “because CPJ says so”.

George Stein

October 10th, 2012
5:33 pm

Argue with yourself, Joe.

For real?

October 10th, 2012
5:34 pm

Calling TW Reggie Ball is a insult to Reggie.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
5:34 pm

Spoken like a man with no facts to back him up.

TechApp fan

October 10th, 2012
5:39 pm

This is not to condem you guys…just an obversation. I alway thought I was a big Tech fan from back in the days Tech whipped the dogs every year. Now I wonder. You guys have more passion than I ever had about the game. But I do enjoy reading your comments (rants perhaps?).

Hope the new D guy has this passion.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
5:47 pm

George, what criteria would you use to judge a qb?

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
5:51 pm

There are a great many who don’t enjoy reading the same thing day in, day out. It gets very tiresome. Joe has made his point. He wants Tevin replaced. So do many of us. But that will happen only the Head Coach says it will. Joe is not going to force Tevin out with his daily mini rants. So STFU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

George Stein

October 10th, 2012
5:52 pm

I don’t take a one size fits all approach, Joe. Also, without knowing what the plays are, it’s challenging to know what he was supposed to do. However, traditional metrics like W/L, completion percentage, and touchdown passes are useless.

Gun to my head, I want to know yards per attempt and interceptions per attempt (because his job is typically not to throw it to the other team).

George Stein

October 10th, 2012
6:01 pm

I should point out, too, that you don’t scout a box score. In general, I think interceptions are the fault of the QB, but that’s not always the case. Further, because they are not all surrounded by equal talent or asked to do the same things, a box score may not tell you the whole story.